The Emerson Avenger

The Emerson Avenger is a "memory hole" free blog where censorship is scorned. This blog will "guard the right to know" about any injustices and abuses that corrupt Unitarian Universalism. Posters may speak and argue freely, according to conscience, about any injustices and abuses, or indeed hypocrisy, that they may know about so that the Avenger, in the form of justice and redress, may come surely and swiftly. . . "Slowly, slowly the Avenger comes, but comes surely." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

In 1992 I underwent a profound revelatory experience of God which revealed that the total solar eclipse "Eye of God" is a "Sign in the Heavens" that symbolizes God's divine omniscience. You may read about what Rev. Ray Drennan of the Unitarian Church of Montreal contemptuously dismissed as my "psychotic experience" here: http://revelationisnotsealed.homestead.com - This revelatory religious experience inspired me to propose an inter-religious celebration of Creation that would take place whenever a total solar eclipse took place over our planet. You may read about what Rev. Ray Drennan and other leading members of the Unitarian Church of Montreal falsely and maliciously labeled as a "cult" here: http://creationday.homestead.com - I am now an excommunicated Unitarian whose "alternative spiritual practice" includes publicly exposing and denouncing Unitarian*Universalist injustices, abuses, and hypocrisy. The Emerson Avenger blog will serve that purpose for me and hopefully others will share their concerns here. Dee Miller's term DIM Thinking is used frequently and appropriately on this blog. You may read more about what DIM Thinking is here - http://www.takecourage.org/defining.htm

Saturday, November 08, 2008

A Permanent Bias Against God In Unitarian*Universalist "Churches". . .

New U*U blogger 'Boston Unitarian' whose blog motto is -

"A truer and nobler life."

has posted a section of Chapter lll of Henry Ware's 'Formation of the Christian Character'.

He highlights this phrase in the concluding sentence -

"For you are engaging in a great work, the giving your heart a permanent bias toward God, and it ought not to be interrupted."

and then goes on to say -

"It is language that is, no doubt, difficult for many liberal religionists to listen to these days but I find it deeply true."

Here is the comment that I just submitted to Boston Unitarian's "moderated" aka censored blog. I do not have high expectations that he will actually post it and I have even lower expectations that he will deign to provide an answer to my questions -

So why is it that there seems to be a permanent bias against God, and against God believing people, in so many Unitarian*Universalist congregations? Why is it that neither God, nor God believing people, are all that welcome in so many U*U "Welcoming Congregations"?

end quote

Just to be clear, I am not suggesting that Unitarian*Universalists, or any other "liberal religionists", should adopt a "a permanent bias toward God" in their hearts and minds. There are lots of good reasons for people to be disappointed in God and to question God. I am only once again reminding Unitarian*Universalists that the rather too permanent bias *against* God and God believing people, that is manifested in so many ways in too many U*U "churches", is a serious problem that needs to be responsibly addressed by the UUA, the CUC, and individual Unitarian*Universalist congregations if Unitarian*Universalism is ever to move beyond being the "tiny, declining, fringe religion" that it currently is. . . Unitarian*Universalism does not have a snowball's chance in Hell of ever becoming "the religion of our time", as UUA presidential candidate Rev. Peter Morales rather dubiously aspires to "grow" U*Uism, unless and until this permanent bias against God and God believing people is formally acknowledged by U*Us and responsibly discarded by the U*U "religious community".


Update Sunday November 9, 2008 6:00pm-ish

Well 'Boston Unitarian' has pleasantly surprised me by not only posting my comment to his blog post titled 'A Permanent Bias Towards God' but has even provided a response to it.

Here is how he responded to my sharing my concerns as it were:

Thank you for your comment. While I agree that it can seem a "bias against God" exists in Unitarian Universalism, I think it is often more apparent than real. People are searching for a deeper meaning and they want to do it together.

This blog does not seek to fight those battles but only to lift up in a positive way, a life and a path that has been deeply enriching for me. If it proves to be so for others...well that would be wonderful. God Bless

Here is the follow-up comment (with some typos corrected and a pertinent link or two added) that I just submitted in response to the above comment. I have invited 'Boston Unitarian' to respond to this comment by commenting here if he finds my sharing of my concerns too hot to handle on his own blog:

Thank you for posting my critical comment and providing a response to it Boston Unitarian. As my linked blog post states, I had thought that you might not do either of those two things. Please allow me to respectfully respond to your response.

:While I agree that it can seem a "bias against God" exists in Unitarian Universalism, I think it is often more apparent than real.

From what I have have personally experienced, and from what I have repeatedly observed and borne witness to over the years, too many U*Us, including too many U*U clergy, have a very real and not just "apparent" bias against God and God believing people. This is particularly true of the intolerant Atheist Supremacist subset of "Humanist" U*Us. I am not suggesting that Unitarian*Universalism has a permanent bias against God and against God believing people but rather that too many individual Unitarian*Universalists have such a bias. Perhaps I should have said 'within' where I said 'in' to make this clearer.

The fact remains however that the very real and rather too permanent bias against God, Christians, and theists more generally, in the "expressed attitudes" of some "Humanist" U*Us effectively makes a good number of U*U churches far from genuinely welcoming to God believing people.

:People are searching for a deeper meaning and they want to do it together.

As long as "Humanist" U*U ministers can preach Sunday sermons proclaiming that God is a "non-existent being" and that belief in God "seems primitive", or otherwise express disdain and contempt for believers in public or even "private" statements, with not the slightest concern being expressed by UUA leaders, other U*U clergy, and individual U*U lay people, God believing people will choose to do their searching for a deeper meaning in some other "faith". . .

:This blog does not seek to fight those battles but only to lift up in a positive way, a life and a path that has been deeply enriching for me.

If you and other U*Us choose not to "fight those battles" on this blog or in the greater U*U religious community I expect that U*Uism will remain a "tiny, declining, fringe religion"* and that it will never even come close to becoming "the religion of our time." I am sure you know the saying,

"All it takes for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing."

*Somebody* has to fight those battles or Unitarian*Universalism will continue to decline.

If you find this comment too hot to handle here perhaps you can answer it on The Emerson Avenger blog where I will cross-post it.

Regards,

Robin Edgar


* as UUA Presidential candidate Rev. Peter Morales so succinctly put it in his "stump speech" which most ironically contained the kind of anti-religious bias that Christians, Jews, Muslims and other God believing people will find to be intolerant and offensive.

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11 Comments:

OpenID thomasperchlik said...

Dear Robin Edgar,

I am surprised that you would ask: So why is it that there seems to be a permanent bias against God, and against God believing people, in so many Unitarian*Universalist congregations? Why is it that neither God, nor God believing people, are all that welcome in so many U*U "Welcoming Congregations"?

My first response is to say that I don't find that sort of bias or unwelcome in my congregation.

My second response is to ask if your perception of a "permanant" bias and lack of welcome is an accurate one or is based on your own biased reading of UU congregations.

A third response is:
It seems as though the sources of the bias you have encountered should be fairly obvious so that the question of "Why" is really the wrong question. The better question is what should be the realationship of theism, non-theism and atheism be in UU communities.

By the way the sources of a non-theist bias in UU congregations should be fairly obvious: They include the expectations and attitudes you have brought to UU congregations, the dominance of a secular/atheist philosophy/language during the mid-late 20th century, and a discomfort with the way god language is used to create a false sense of agreement within society and an oppression or alienation of non-theists in society at large.

Sunday, November 09, 2008 4:14:00 pm  
Blogger David R. Gillespie said...

I think, as you know, that there is a very definite bias against Christianity in particular in the UUA...

Sunday, November 09, 2008 4:23:00 pm  
Blogger Chalicechick said...

Then how did a Christianity scholar get to be the ware lecturer a few years ago?

And how come there are so many UU Christians both layperson and minister, and we teach Christianity in RE, and we talk about God in Christian terms as much as we do?

If you really like to see what bias is like, you're welcome to go back to my folks' church and attend a class on "the Islamic threat."

CC

Sunday, November 09, 2008 5:40:00 pm  
Blogger Robin Edgar said...

Well it looks like we have the makings of a discussion here. I somehow failed to see these comments before submitting my follow-up comment to the 'Boston Unitarian' blog and cross-posting it here.

CC I think that you will discover to your chagrin that Rev. David R. Gillespie, formerly Religious Education Director of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Spartanburg South Carolina, is very well positioned to say "there is a very definite bias against Christianity in particular in the UUA." In fact, I have reason grounds to believe that he is speaking from direct personal experience of UUA bias against Christianity. All you have done here is point to a few exceptions that prove the rule. . .

:Then how did a Christianity scholar get to be the ware lecturer a few years ago?

Can you say "posturing" and "tokenism" CC? The Potemkin Village of religions needs to keep up its public facade from time to time. . . In any case, neither I nor Rev. Gillespie said the bias against Christianity was absolute. Just rather too permanent and I would have to add prominent. . . How did a prominent U*U minister get to describe Christianity, Judaism, and Islam (and any number of other unspecified religions) as "obsolete religions, created for another time" that are only good for contributing to "the darkness" of "hatred, injustice, prejudice, ignorance" in his "stump speech" announcing his candidacy for President of the UUA? To date I have not seen a single U*U call Rev. Peter Morales to account for that blanket condemnation of all three Abrahamic religions, and almost certainly most other world religions.

:And how come there are so many UU Christians both layperson and minister,

Just how many Christian U*U ministers are there CC? There are over a thousand U*U ministers and I can pretty much count the Christian ones I know of on the fingers of one hand. Certainly two hands would do the job. . . There may well be others that I am unaware of but I seriously doubt that there are more than a few dozen bona fide Christian U*U ministers in the U*U World. Why do I say "bona fide" you ask? Because some U*U ministers pretend to be Christian U*Us even thought their personal theology is not really Christian in any realistic sense of the word. As just one example former UUA President Rev. Dr. John Buehrens has bragged about pretending to be a Christian in order to be able to participate in some events reserved for Christian religious leaders.

:and we teach Christianity in RE, and we talk about God in Christian terms as much as we do?

Yes CC *some* U*Us do teach *about* Christianity in U*U RE but I expect that few actually "teach Christianity". I expect that Rev. David Gillespie may have taught Christianity in his RE until he discovered that he really wasn't all that welcome in the U*U "religion".

:If you really like to see what bias is like, you're welcome to go back to my folks' church and attend a class on "the Islamic threat."

It's OK CC I am already very well acquainted with what U*U bias is like. I hear that they teach classes on "the Robin Edgar threat" at the Unitarian Church of Montreal. . .

I will have to respond to Rev. Thomas Perchlik's comment later. Probably tomorrow.

Sunday, November 09, 2008 8:29:00 pm  
Blogger Chalicechick said...

It looks to me like Rev. Gillespie has experience with one UU church, in the middle of the bible belt. I've gone to a church very close to Rev. Gillespie's old church and it was far and away the least-Christian-friendly of the UU churches I've attended, which is not to say there weren't quite a few Christians and plenty of Christianity in RE.

UU churches in the bible belt tend to be full of pissed-off ex-evangelicals, who do tend to be rougher on Christians than other UUs. I don't doubt he has had some difficulties with people being anti-Christian, but those difficulties are not as representative of UUism as a whole.

In my non-Bible Belt UU church that is some four times the size of his, you just don't hear that stuff.

Having a Christianity scholar as the ware lecturer strikes me as a funny sort of "tokenism," and the widespread praise for what she had to say didn't sound biased to me.

I hadn't read Rev. Morales' speech before, and I don't agree with big parts of it and I find his thinking rather muddled.
That said, I'm not going to call for him to "account" for what he has to say, he's entitled to his opinion, but I'm not inclined to vote for him either.

Besides, I'm not one for "calling for" stuff. I generally notice that people who "call for" things are ignored.

(((Because some U*U ministers pretend to be Christian U*Us even thought their personal theology is not really Christian in any realistic sense of the word.)))

Who died and made you the judge of who is a "bona fide" Christian in a "Realistic" sense of the word?

Due to people accusing various Christian theologians of not being "real Christians," I'm only partially sure that Christians have the perspective to judge who is a "Real Christian" and who isn't. I certainly don't think you do.

As for "teaching Christianity" as opposed to "Teaching about Christianity," I'm sure that's a difficult line to draw. But I'd rather any kids of mine be taught about Christianity (E.g. Unitarian Christians believe in Universal Salvation) than be taught Christianity (e.g. Everyone is saved.)

Teaching kids about Christianity gives kids the chance to make up their own minds and decide for themselves what they believe. Besides, "Teaching" pretty much any religion can only lead to claims of cultural misappropriation.

Besides, if you're teaching kids that Jesus is their savior one year and that Jesus was a good guy, but Mohammed was the real prophet the next, you're just going to confuse them. Teach them about different faiths, let them figure out for themselves what makes sense to them when they are ready to do so. As a YRUU leader, I have various youth who are interested in Quakerism, Earth-centered religions and Taoism. I try to guide them toward resources
that can help them explore the ideas that resonate with them and I lead discussions with them about what they've learned and how they can apply spirituality to their lives.

There are lots of churches where "teaching Christianity" is more appropriate. Someone who wishes to do that probably does fit in better there.

I'm doubting the "Robin Edgar threat" classes are about your plans for world domination, so I assume you've got one up on the Muslims there.

CC

Sunday, November 09, 2008 9:56:00 pm  
Blogger Robin Edgar said...

:My first response is to say that I don't find that sort of bias or unwelcome in my congregation.

One down, over a thousand other U*U congregations to go. . . I found an anti-Christian and more broadly anti-religious bias in my rather less than welcoming congregation Rev. Perchlik and plenty of other people have complained about similar anti-religious biases in other U*U congregations throughout the U*U World. Heck I did not even really "find" that anti-religious bias Rev. Perchlik. *It* made a point of finding me and making very sure that I knew I was unwelcome. . . From what I have seen this kind of intolerant and obnoxious confronting of believers happens quite regularly in U*U "churches" but it is really a bit much when the minister of the "church" is one of the intolerant and abusive Atheist Supremacists, if not the worst of the lot. . .

:My second response is to ask if your perception of a "permanant" bias and lack of welcome is an accurate one or is based on your own biased reading of UU congregations.

I guess that would depended on the meaning of the word "permanent" Rev. Perchlik. The ant-religious bias of the Atheist Supremacist clique in the Unitarian Church of Montreal pre-existed my joining it and probably by several decades from what I can gather. It continued through the two years that Christian U*U minister Rev. David B. Parke was its interim minister and was reinforced throughout the Atheist Supremacist regime of Rev. Ray Drennan. I have reasonable grounds to believe that it continues to this day. I have always said that I believe, or at least hope, that the intolerant and abusive anti-religious bias found in the Unitarian Church of Montreal is something of a worse case scenario in the U*U World but I have seen plenty of examples of people complaining about similar anti-religious bias in all parts of the U*U World.

:A third response is: It seems as though the sources of the bias you have encountered should be fairly obvious so that the question of "Why" is really the wrong question.

Not at all Rev. Perchlik. I want to know *why* the anti-religious bias found in too many U*U "churches" is allowed at all, and I want to know *why* it is condoned and allowed to continue to exist. "Why?" really is the right question Rev. Perchlik.

:The better question is what should be the realationship of theism, non-theism and atheism be in UU communities.

That is a good question but not really a "better question" especially since I am not talking so much about non-theism or atheism but outright anti-theism and/or anti-theist intolerance and bigotry. I have no problems with your average run-of-the-mill non-theist or atheist. Indeed some pretty devout atheists are included amongst my friends. I am talking about an anti-religious bias, not a non-religious bias.

:By the way the sources of a non-theist bias in UU congregations should be fairly obvious: They include the expectations and attitudes you have brought to UU congregations,

You might want to rephrase that Rev. Perchlik. I do not see how a non-theist bias includes the expectations and attitudes that I have brought to UU congregations. For the record the expectations and attitudes that I brought to the UU "church" were based on what I now understand to be highly misleading, if not utterly fraudulent, U*U tracts. I had no expectations and attitudes beyond what U*U marketing materials promised me and other people. . .

:the dominance of a secular/atheist philosophy/language during the mid-late 20th century,

Ah yes the secular/atheist *dominance* aka the Atheist Supremacy. . . I could have sworn that is what I have been complaining about for over a decade now Rev. Perchlik.

:and a discomfort with the way god language is used to create a false sense of agreement within society and an oppression or alienation of non-theists in society at large.

How about the way the anti-God language, or other anti-religious language, is used to oppress and/or alienate theists in the U*U World? *That* is what I am complaining about Rev. Perchlik.

Then of course there is the way that oh so PC U*USPEAK is used to create a false sense of agreement within U*U society. . .

Sunday, November 09, 2008 10:26:00 pm  
Blogger Robin Edgar said...

@ CC

:It looks to me like Rev. Gillespie has experience with one UU church, in the middle of the bible belt.

And I have a well-documented experience with one UU "church", in the middle of the Poutine Belt plus plenty of interaction with U*Us online. And Gail Wardlaw M.D. had a bad experience with one "Humanist" dominated UU "church" in El Paso Texas. And Rev. Jack Ditch had a bad experience with a Midwest UU "church". And so-and-so had a bad experience with a UU church, in the middle of nowhere. And another person had a bad experience with this UU "church", while yet another disaffected Unitarian*Universalist or potential Unitarian*Universalist had a bad experience with that Unitarian*Universalist "church". It adds up CC and the "beat" goes on and on and on. . .

:I've gone to a church very close to Rev. Gillespie's old church and it was far and away the least-Christian-friendly of the UU churches I've attended, which is not to say there weren't quite a few Christians and plenty of Christianity in RE.

Well I am not talking about masochistic Christians who endure anti-Christian bigotry in U*U "churches" or at least turn a blind eye to it CC. I am talking about non-Christian-friendly or otherwise Unwelcoming U*U Congregations. Thanks for confirming the existence of yet another Unitarian*Universalist Unwelcoming Congregation in Georgia or South Carolina. . .

:UU churches in the bible belt tend to be full of pissed-off ex-evangelicals, who do tend to be rougher on Christians than other UUs.

And thanks also for confirming that UU *churches* in the bible belt tend to be full of pissed-off ex-evangelicals, who do tend to be rough on Christians. So just where are all the Christian friendly U*U "churches" you were talking about CC?

:I don't doubt he has had some difficulties with people being anti-Christian, but those difficulties are not as representative of UUism as a whole.

Nope. Just U*us in the anti-Bible Belt of the U*U World. . . and Montreal and El Paso and here, there, everywhere throughout the U*U religious community.

:In my non-Bible Belt UU church that is some four times the size of his, you just don't hear that stuff.

Which just might explain why it *your* Washington D.C. area UU Church is four times the size of his. . . Right CC? But, as I have pointed out to you before CC, your large UU congregation is far from being representative of a typical UU "church". The vast majority of U*U "churches" are quite small and I expect that they are so small for a reason. . .

:Having a Christianity scholar as the ware lecturer strikes me as a funny sort of "tokenism," and the widespread praise for what she had to say didn't sound biased to me.

I am not sure how well the attendance at UUA GAs is representative of the UU World as a whole either CC. OTOH I well remember the vast majority of U*Us studiously ignored my protest against anti-Christian and broader anti-religious intolerance and bigotry at the 2002 UUA GA in Quebec City. I also remember how a certain number of U*Us came up to me and thanked me for it though. . . And I certainly won't forget Rev. Scott Wells' sneering condescension and shunning.

:I hadn't read Rev. Morales' speech before, and I don't agree with big parts of it and I find his thinking rather muddled.

Muddled and peppered with exactly the kind of anti-Christian and more broadly anti-religious bias that I have been talking about for over a decade now CC. . .

:That said, I'm not going to call for him to "account" for what he has to say,

Par for the course for CC. . .

:he's entitled to his opinion,

He's *entitled* to it alright CC. . .

:but I'm not inclined to vote for him either.

I did not think that in the alleged "democratic process" of U*Uism that individual "church" members could vote for UUA Presidents CC. Correct me if I am wrong but I only thought that only well-heeled "delegates" could vote on behalf of U*U congregations.

:Besides, I'm not one for "calling for" stuff. I generally notice that people who "call for" things are ignored.

Ignored and insulted, slandered and defamed. Censored and suppressed to say nothing of treated like criminals. . .

:Who died and made you the judge of who is a "bona fide" Christian in a "Realistic" sense of the word?

In the simplest of terms a Christian is someone who believes Jesus was the *Christ* aka Messiah. If you do not believe that fundamental Christian theology you are not a real *Christian*. There are atheists, including some atheist U*Us from what I can gather, who call themselves Christians because they believe in the teaching of Jesus from a humanistic standpoint. They are not Christians, They *might* be Jesusians or something.

:Due to people accusing various Christian theologians of not being "real Christians," I'm only partially sure that Christians have the perspective to judge who is a "Real Christian" and who isn't. I certainly don't think you do.

I disagree. One should be able to reasonably determine that someone is not a "Real Christian" if they do not really believe that Jesus of Nazareth was the "real Christ". So how many "Christian" U*U ministers believe that CC? Do you need more than your fingers and toes to add them up?

:As for "teaching Christianity" as opposed to "Teaching about Christianity," I'm sure that's a difficult line to draw. But I'd rather any kids of mine be taught about Christianity (E.g. Unitarian Christians believe in Universal Salvation) than be taught Christianity (e.g. Everyone is saved.)

Why do you suppose I corrected you CC? I am perfectly aware that U*U REs generally teach *about* Christianity rather than "teach Christianity". . .

:Teaching kids about Christianity gives kids the chance to make up their own minds and decide for themselves what they believe.

I know that and agree with that policy.

:Besides, "Teaching" pretty much any religion can only lead to claims of cultural misappropriation.

You were the one who said U*U REs "teach Christianity" CC. . . I corrected you.

:Besides, if you're teaching kids that Jesus is their savior one year and that Jesus was a good guy, but Mohammed was the real prophet the next, you're just going to confuse them.

No kidding. . . BTW self-described Christians who do not believe that "Jesus is their savior" are not *real* Christians.

:Teach them about different faiths, let them figure out for themselves what makes sense to them when they are ready to do so. As a YRUU leader, I have various youth who are interested in Quakerism, Earth-centered religions and Taoism. I try to guide them toward resources
that can help them explore the ideas that resonate with them and I lead discussions with them about what they've learned and how they can apply spirituality to their lives.

Thanks for the lecture CC but that I know all that, which is precisely why I pointed out that U*U REs do not "teach Christianity".

:There are lots of churches where "teaching Christianity" is more appropriate.

Yes I think they are often called Christian churches.

:Someone who wishes to do that probably does fit in better there.

If you are referring yo Rev. David Gillespie which appears to be the case I am not aware what he taught in his UU RE but I expect that as a man who seems to have considerable personal integrity that he taught within UUA guidelines. Feel free to ask him if he "taught Christianity" or taught about Christianity.

:I'm doubting the "Robin Edgar threat" classes are about your plans for world domination, so I assume you've got one up on the Muslims there.

Don't be sure sure of that CC. Some paranoid or otherwise delusional U*Us seem to believe that I am out for U*U World domination and *some* have tried to pretend that I am some kind of terrorist. Indeed several Montreal Unitarians "expressed attitudes" to the effect that I should be prosecuted under Canada's "Terrorist Act". Who knows? Maybe some moronic Montreal U*Us even seriously looked into the possibility of doing just that. . .

Sunday, November 09, 2008 11:29:00 pm  
Blogger Chalicechick said...

We've had the discussion about size of UU churches before, Robin.

You can claim that "it all adds up," but I'd happily bet you that my church serves more people than Gail's church, Cap't Jack's and the UU Church of Spartanburg put together. Wouldn't surprise me if my church serves twice as many.

The eleven biggest churches in the UUA serve more than 12,000 UUs all by themselves. My large metropolitan church isn't even in the top 25. (And I'm not even counting the CLF)

What the eleven biggest churches do affects more people than what 250 50-person churches do or 50 250-person churches. WAY more UUs are affected by what big churches do. Large churches serve WAY more UUs and what they are doing is more representative of us as a movement.

I have never denied that there are some UUs who are angry at Christianity. I have said for years that it is at its worst in Bible belt churches like Gail's and the Spartanburg church, that are in communities where, for example, people can get fired when the community finds out they're a pagan.

I've told you how when I lived in South Carolina, I was under strict orders from my boss not to let anyone in town find out I wasn't a Christian. I knew a lady who passionately believed in gay rights, but couldn't talk about it anyplace BUT church because she taught in the public schools and she was seriously concerned she would get fired. I'm sure you've heard about how in North Carolina, a political candidate ran ads against another political candidate because she had dinner with an atheist and took a contributition from him.

Like it or not, when people live with this sort of stuff, when they find some other people who are just as unhappy, they want to talk about it. And yes, when they percieve that it is Christians doing the oppressing, they are going to bitch about Christianity.

A lot of the folks in my South Carolina UU church percieved that the only place they had to get together and talk about it was church.

I thought both the community and the conversation was annoying. My solution was to move up north, where people are more accepting of different kinds of people and you can be whatever faith you want without people giving you crap about it. The people I go to church with don't feel particularly ruled by Christians so it would never occur to them to come to church and bitch about Christianity.

(((Indeed several Montreal Unitarians "expressed attitudes" to the effect that I should be prosecuted under Canada's "Terrorist Act". Who knows? )))

Well, if I'm remembering the publicity surrounding that Act when it came out, it did include a provision about mischief on the grounds of a place of worship. I can see how the idea might cross someone's mind.

That said, I know you usually take care to stay just inside the laws, so I'm sure you've managed to avoid that.

CC

Monday, November 10, 2008 12:30:00 am  
Blogger Chalicechick said...

(((In the simplest of terms a Christian is someone who believes Jesus was the *Christ* aka Messiah. )))

So all Christian theologians who are skeptical of the historical Jesus are not Christians? I mean, if they aren't sure the man existed at all, then I don't see how they could qualify under your definition.

Rudolf Bultmann and Albert Schweitzer come to mind, for example, as folks whom you might have decided weren't Christian, since they both saw quite a division between the man himself (whom both questioned the existence of at various points) and the impact he had on people's lives.

Marcus Borg, too. (Better not tell the Society of Biblical Literature that Borg's not a Christian. He's an important guy to those folks.)

At the Christian church I went to as a kid, people thought a lot about what folks like Bultmann had to say. Indeed, questioning the resurrection of Jesus and a lot of the things that would have made him "the messiah" is a lot of people's eyes wasn't uncommon.

To put it mildly, your definition of what makes a Christian is far from a universally accepted one among Christians.

Different people define Christianity different ways, and I'm not sure why you think you are more qualified to decide who's a "real" Christian than the Christians who accept skeptics of the historical Jesus.

While you're on a roll, are you going to decide who qualifies as a "real" Jew? How about a "Real" Muslim?

Seems to me that we should let people and groups decide on labels for themselves.

CC

Monday, November 10, 2008 3:26:00 pm  
Blogger crone51 said...

I am confused. I left my UU congregation ( I am a 57 year old lifetime UU-well now former UU) because I, as an Atheist , felt there was no longer a place for me in a UUism It got to the point where I was getting hateful phone calls from fellow congregation members ( most of whom were new and younger ) because I was not in the closet as an Atheist. Interesting to read this.

Ruth Ann Genne

Thursday, February 19, 2009 6:50:00 pm  
Blogger Robin Edgar said...

Dear Ruth Ann,

I am sorry to hear your story. This is the first time that I have heard about anyone getting hateful phone calls from fellow congregation members because they were not "in the closet" as an Atheist. This blog is dedicated to dealing with any and all U*U injustices, abuses, and hypocrisy so if you want to share more details of what happened you are most welcome to do so here. You are free to name the U*U congregation involved, and any or all of the individuals involved in this matter, if you so wish. I would certainly be interested in knowing more about what happened with you. Did you file a complaint about the harassing phone calls with the minister and/or other leaders of your congregation? Did you complain about anti-Humanist intolerance prior to receiving the harassing phone calls.

Regards,

Robin Edgar

Thursday, February 19, 2009 7:32:00 pm  

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